Ordnung muss sein

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Ordnung muss sein is a German proverbial expression which translates as "there must be order." The idea of "order" is generally recognized as a key cliche for describing German culture.[1] Franz von Papen, for instance, cited it in 1932 as Frederick the Great's "classic expression".[2] As a slogan used by Paul von Hindenburg, it became "world famous" in 1930, according to The New York Times.[3] A longer version is contained in a mid-19th century collection of proverbs: Ordnung muss sein, sagte Hans, da brachten sie ihn in das Spinnhaus (in English: "Order must be, said Hans, as they took him to the madhouse)."[4]

Related German proverbs are Ordnung ist das halbe Leben,[4] literally "order is half of life", humorously extended und Unordnung die andere Hälfte ("and disorder the other half"). Similarly, a proverb says Wer Ordnung hält, ist nur zu faul zum Suchen meaning "he who keeps order is just too lazy to spend his time searching".[citation needed]

There is an Ordnungsamt (Bureau for Ordnung, Code enforcement) in every German municipal and city. Minor or petty offenses are called Ordnungswidrigkeit (meaning "contrary to the Ordnung").